Saving For Your Wedding

The average cost of a wedding is reported to be £18,000. This in reality, is a lot of money, and most people don't have that sort of cash at their disposal.

So what are the options? You could take out a loan, but do you really want to start off married life in debt?

Instead why not take your time and save for the wedding.

Here are some great tips on how to save, not just for your wedding, but for your future. Some of these tips also have the advantage of helping you to protect our environment.

The first thing to do is to change your philosophy towards spending. Rather than be frivolous and spontaneous about spending your money try and hold onto it and save for something that you really want, in this instance your wedding.

You may also be interested in our article on Wedding Budgets

How to save on Shopping

Ever wondered how the supermarkets are able to make a profit year on year. Well they have you to thank. The supermarkets have made their fortune out of researching consumer shopping habits.

Well now it's time for you to take control and shop for what you actually need, rather than shop for what you think you need.

  1. Make a shopping list, this way you'll shop for what you need and not get diverted.
  2. If you haven't got the time to do a weekly shop then shop online, again making a list before you start.
  3. Buy store brand products rather than well known brands, as these are considerably cheaper.
  4. Plan your meals each week, that way you only buy what you need.
  5. Buy from the market, rather than the supermarket.
  6. Buy fresh food and a good supply of long life foods which you can put together to make a meal.
  7. Cook in batches, that way you can freeze food to eat at a later date. It also makes it easier to plan your shopping for each week.
  8. If you eat meat, buy the cheaper cuts. You may have to cook it for a little longer in order to tenderise the meat, but they still offer plenty of flavour.

Those little treats that soon add up....

  1. Take sandwiches to work rather than buying from the work canteen.
  2. Stopping buying expensive coffee on your way to work. Instead invest in a coffee maker, some coffee beans and a travel mug, and make your own to take into work.
  3. Stop eating out and ordering take-aways, instead loan a good cook book from the library and work your way through it.
  4. If you buy a magazine on your way to work consider taking out a subscription >> as there are often cheap introductory offers. However, if you currently have a magazine subscription, and you don't always read the magazine, then cancel your subscription otherwise you are just throwing money down the drain.
  5. If you have an annual  gym membership, but aren't making the effort to go at least three times a week, then cancel it and buy yourself a cross-trainer >> instead, or better still do some jogging, brisk walking or swimming.
  6. Join the library and loan books rather than buying them.
  7. Avoid going for a drink after work, as this can become an expensive way to unwind.
  8. If you like to have the occasional drink why not try and make your own home-brew >>. You pay an initial outlay for the equipment and the kit, but in the long run its cheaper to make your own than pay pub prices.
  9. If you smoke, now is a great time to stop. Not only will you reap the health benefits for yourself but so will everyone else around you. You'll also save lots of money in the process.

If you don't use it, or wear, it Sell it

  1. Sell items that you haven't used or worn in the last six months, and those that you are not likely too. Hold a garage sale or stick them on e-bay.

Buy in the Sales

  1. If you buy presents for people at Christmas and birthdays then plan well ahead and look to buy them in the sale, at a fraction of the cost.

How to Save on your Utility Bills

  1. coinsSupplying energy is a competitive business which is good news for the consumer. By switching energy provider >> you can save on your fuel bills.
  2. Take a shower instead of having a bath.
  3. Install a water meter, than you'll only pay for the water you use. This will encourage you to be more economical with your water consumption.
  4. Install a cistern displacement device to reduce the amount of water used when you flush the toilet.
  5. Don't ignore a dripping tap.
  6. Only fill the kettle with enough water for what you need.
  7. By turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree you could save around 10% on your energy bills.
  8. Use warm water to wash clothes rather than hot water.
  9. If its not raining, then use the clothes line to dry your clothes rather than the tumble dryer.
  10. Wait until you have a full load before you use the washing machine or the dish washer.
  11. Replace your existing light bulbs with energy saving light bulbs >>
  12. Turn off radiators in rooms which aren't used regularly.
  13. Don't leave electrical equipment on stand-by, turn them off at the mains.
  14. Pay utility bills by direct debit. That way you avoid any late payment and you can often save money on setting up a direct debit.

How Home Owners can Save

  1. When it comes to the end of your mortgage agreement look at all your options. See if you can save money by either switching lender or getting a better deal. Look at the different types of mortgage packages which are currently available, particularly the flexible mortgage, which allows you to put all your spare money into your mortgage account, reducing the interest you have to pay.

Payment Protection

  1. If you have payment protection on your mortgage and credit cards, for example, think about whether you really need the cover. It is possible you are covered by other policies you hold, so in fact you could be buying twice over. You might find once you've done the maths that if you were unfortunately made redundant you would still have enough money to make the necessary repayment.

Extended Warranties, value for money or just a con?

  1. Beware of paying for extended warranties that cost more than there actually worth. If you buy an appliance it often comes with a free repair and parts guarantee. Check how long this cover lasts. If the appliance was to break down, say after three years, it might be cheaper to just buy another one rather than be covered by an extended warranty.

How to get the most out of your Credit Card

  1. Use your credit card wisely. Don't use your credit card to withdraw cash as you will normally have to pay an extra fee for the privilege.
  2. Try to pay off your credit card in full each month, or at least make the minimum payment.
  3. Set up a direct debit to avoid late payments.

How to make a Low Cost Loan work for you

  1. Consider taking out a low-cost loan rather than using credit cards - they will almost always be cheaper.

Consolidate your Debts

  1. Consolidate your debts >> by getting a loan from one provider to pay off all your credit cards. Shop around to find the cheapest option.

Savings Jar

  1. Get yourself a large jar and start to save the pennies. Take any loose change out of you wallet/purse and put it into your savings jar. Once a month take a trip to the bank and pay the money into your savings account. Or why not get yourself a wedding fund money box. This way everytime you look at the box it will be clear in your mind why you are saving the pennies. To afford your dream wedding.

What to do with the Work Bonus

  1. If you get a bonus from work deposit it straight into the bank and put it towards the wedding fund. Don't be tempted to spend your bonus on something you don't really need...

How Much Do I Need?

  1. Decide how much money you need to live on each week and withdraw it from the bank and keep within you limit. If you have any money left over then put it into your savings jar.

The Citizens Advice Bureau

  1. If your on a low income and think you might be entitled to tax benefits, then visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau >> to find out what your entitled to. Remember you've worked for it, so claim it.

Cut your phone bill

  1. Although BT are well known, they are not the only telecommunication company out there. Shop around for a company that can offer you the best deal on your phone and internet service.
  2. If you have a mobile phone >> and have a contract with the mobile company consider whether it would be cheaper to have a pay-as-you-go phone. This way you will avoid making unnecessary calls.

How to save on Satellite / Cable TV

  1. If you have a cable or satellite TV package consider whether you need all the channels you are currently paying for. It might be better to switch to a cheaper package with less channels or cancel your subscription altogether.

How to save money on your car

  1. If you have a car which costs a lot to maintain in terms of insurance and fuel economy, why not trade it in for a more cost effective model.
  2. Consider using public transport rather than your car, it could work out to be cheaper. Alternatively buy a bike or walk to work.

Insurance Policies

  1. Insurance policies normally provide cover for one year. At the end of which you can either renew your policy or switch to a better deal. If you switch don't forget to compare policies and check that you will have the same amount of cover as before.
  2. Beware of companies who automatically renew your insurance policy without sending you written notice that they will do so, unless you state otherwise.

Book Early and save money

  1. If you know that you have to travel across the country and you don't own a car consider your options on whether it's cheaper to buy a train ticket or hire a car, either way decide early to get the best deal.

Do I really need a holiday? Not this year.

  1. If you normally go on holiday once a year do away with the holiday and put the money you would have spent toward the wedding fund.